Musk’s Twitter account tagged a bot by the app he used, Twitter says

  • Elon Musk is trying to pull out of his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter.
  • In his lawsuit against the company, he said it underestimated the number of bots on the site.
  • But Twitter lawyers said the tool Musk used once classified his account as a potential bot.

Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO who struck and quickly tried to pull out of a $44 million deal to buy Twitter, used an online tool to estimate the number of bots on the platform. But the service Musk used once called its own account a bot, Twitter alleged in its rebuttal against it.

As The Washington Post noted on Friday, Twitter claimed that Musk used a public internet service called “Botometer” to estimate the number of bots on the platform. Twitter’s attorneys said Botometer “earlier this year flagged Musk himself as highly likely to be a bot.”

The method Botometer uses to determine and estimate bots differs from the method used by Twitter, as the Post reported. Botometer, a project of Indiana University’s Social Media Observatory, states on its website that it is a machine learning algorithm trained to calculate a probability score that an account or a bot based on its activity on Twitter.

Musk cited the number of bots and spam accounts on Twitter as his main reason for trying to pull out of the deal, which he struck in April before quickly casting doubt on the deal and formally attempting to retire in July. Twitter sued Musk on July 12 for his attempted termination of the deal, and Musk fought back, arguing that the social media giant lied to him.

Musk, in his lawsuit, argued that the company intentionally misled investors about the number of spam accounts and bots on the platform, as part of a “scheme to mislead investors about the prospects of society,” as Insider previously reported.

Musk claimed Twitter has 65 million fewer users than the company claims, and said only 16 million people see ads on the platform every day. Twitter says it has around 238 million monetizable daily active users (mDAUs), up 16% from the second quarter of last year. He claims that around 5% of accounts are bots.

“This has always been Twitter’s strategy: to distract and obscure the truth about its disclosures — first from its investors, then from Musk parties when they began to discern the truth,” Musk’s lawsuit alleges.

Twitter, in its rebuttal filed shortly after Musk’s trial, called Musk’s accusations “a story” for “escaping a merger deal that Musk no longer found attractive once the stock market – and with him, his enormous personal wealth – has diminished in value”.

Musk and Twitter are expected in a Delaware court in October to decide whether the billionaire can renege on his agreement to acquire the platform. The deal included a $1 billion severance fee if either party backed out of the deal, though Insider previously reported that Musk doesn’t think he should have to pay that cost. .

About Sandra A. Powell

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